Keep going - Acts 18:1-23
Was pretty tired, so by the time we got to the evening - I was finding even singing difficult!
Sermon prep. I think I figured early on that this passage functioned as encouragement, so getting the main point wasn't quite as hard as the last sermon. But trying to figure out the constituent parts as well as appropriate illustrations/implications/applications turned out to be hard work! I was much more indebted to the commentaries this time around; in fact, I think I was a bit too reliant on them. For background on Corinth, I looked at Scot Hafemann's entry on the Corinthians in Dictionary of Paul and his letters. For theological insights into the text, Peterson (Pillar) and Larkin (IVPNTC) were helpful. I also thought of specific people in the congregation as I wrote this. If time permitted, I would have liked to spend an additional minute or so thinking through the socio-political consequences in our context as the outworking of point 4.
Pacing of this sermon could have been better too. On the whole, I thought this passage came up at an opportune time though, and I hope that every single one of us, me included, were encouraged by this portion of God's word. God was gracious, for I know at least one person for whom this struck home.
Weary in the city?
A tourist's guide to Corinth (v.1)
What does God say?
1. Keep trusting! Because God is always working out his plan wherever we are (v.2-4)
2. Keep persevering! Because God's gospel always provokes division (v.5-8)
- The watchman in Ezekiel (rf. Ezekiel 3:16-21, 33:1-20)
3. Take courage! For God is with us always (v.9-11)
4. Be confident! For God can and does use anyone to advance his purposes (v.12-17)
5. Be thankful! For God is all of grace (v.18-23)